accelerated mobile pages Google AMP

Google AMP & It’s Impact on Your Website

Google Makes More Changes to Speed Up the Web

What Is Google AMP, and What is the Impact to Your Business Website?

My last blog post was about Google AdWords eliminating ads on the right side of your search page. Well Google has made another change to Google Search that will impact site owners. It’s called Google AMP.  AMP is short for accelerated mobile pages.  AMP is an open-source initiative that allows Google to show optimize pages that will load instantly from the Google search engine. Here’s what site owners need to know.

Google launched AMP in the last week or so. The idea is when you search for something on using the Google Search Engine, Google will show the accelerated mobile pages before they show any other pages on the Internet. This is good and bad news for most of us.  The good news is if you are prepared for and have taken the necessary steps to make sure that your web pages are amplified (get it AMPlified) and you verify that this is working then you will not move up the Google Search Results for some of the queries related to your website.  Conversely if you have not taken care of ensuring that your website is taking advantage of AMP then you reap the rewards.  

Standard Web Page vs AMP on Scott Gombar

Left side is this blog post without AMP. The right side is the same post with AMP.

From what I have gathered there is no plan to penalize websites that are not using Google AMP but if other sites do and yours does not then you may see your competitors leap frog over your site in the Google Search Results.

With that being said there’s a few things you should understand.  I’m going to try to keep this in in terms that are not very technical so that everybody can understand. If your web page comes up on a Google search as an accelerated mobile page and the user that performed the search clicks on the link it will not take them to your website.  It will actually take them to a version of your website that is now stored on Google servers. In the past if you searched for something on Google, you would click on it and be taken to an external website not on a Google server. With amp these pages are going to be stored on a Google server so that’s important to know. I’m still researching on how they plan to provide analytics for these pages so there will be more on that. I’m actually running amp now to see how things look and work as a result of using AMP.  There will be a follow up post to this one.

If your site is using WordPress (as my site is) then there’s good news. There is a plugin called AMP that you can install in Wordpress.  It will automatically add an extension for your blog posts however it will not add it to your web pages.  This means your  pages will not have the amp extension but your blog post will be able to be found on Google’s new search results with AMP.

So what is Google’s intention with Accelerated Mobile Pages?  It is simple really.  Google wants to speed up the internet for mobile devices.  If you have ever tried to load a large website on your mobile device you’ve probably noticed that some of them will take a while to load.  Even those sites that are optimized for mobile may take a little while to load.  AMP basically strips down your webpages removing code that will slow down your web pages and provides an optimized link to the content without all the extra stuff.  As an example when I post blog entry  there will be an AMP version of this post on my website and if you type / amp end of the URL you will see that version of the web page.  I mentioned in blog post a while back that Google’s next step after their algorithm update that essentially made it a priority to make your website mobile friendly that they’re next algorithm update would involve the speed of your website.  If you have unnecessary things, for example you’re using several different analytics providers that means you have JavaScript code for all the different analytics providers. You’re going to want to try to eliminate some of that because Google is trying to speed up the web. Some steps you can take include:

  • create optimized images
  • remove JavaScript that you don’t need
  • make sure your code is compliant

accelerated mobile pages Google AMPTo get a complete list of the necessary steps to speed up your specific website you can log into Google Search Console.  There you can get pointers on how to speed up your website and take the necessary steps to do so.  If you feel the actions needed to speed up your site are above your knowledge of web development I would strongly encourage you to hire someone to take care of the items needed.  I did say almost a year ago that Google’s next algorithm major algorithm update would have to do with the speed at which a website loads and now you’re  starting to see signs of that with the accelerated mobile project and I anticipate more coming down in the future.  It’s probably best to get started on removing unused or irrelevant items from your website now.  After all, it will provided a better user experience and ultimately that is what Google is trying to accomplish.

That’s all I have for you on this blog post on AMP.  There has been some information floating around the internet over the last week or so.  I shared some other blog posts on AMP, just check out my Twitter (@scottgombar). I think it’s critical that you understand the plan is to speed up the internet, speedup how websites load on mobile devices and that’s really the important thing to understand.  I know it can be a hassle whenever a major Google update is released.  Now you have to go through and make sure your website is compliant.  Just remember it is about the user experience.  In this case Google is looking for ways to have content load “instantly” on mobile devices.  If you made the change over to a mobile friendly site last year (or if you have been mobile friendly all along) then this update will be an easy one.   If you have any questions/comments 203-806-0736 or info@52.91.7.33.

Digital Advertising with Google AdWords

Google AdWords | Big Changes & Big Trouble For You?

Digital Advertising with Google AdWordsMajor Change With Google AdWords Could Mean Major Problems for Advertisers

Google is up to no good again with a major change to Google AdWords that went into effect today.  Here’s a question for you.  How often do you click on the ads on the right side of a Google search results page?  The answer is probably not often, if it all.

It seems Google has recognized that so they have removed the ads on the right side of the page.

What This Means to Google AdWords Clients

Realistically it means you better get your act together.  With the elimination of the right side ads your ad will probably not be seen if it’s not on the top of the search results page.  They have added a fourth spot to the top of the page.

If your ads average position is greater than 4 today then you are going to have major problems with your ads unless you are OK with taking one of the 3 spots at the bottom of the results page.  Any good advertising agency will tell you that a position at the bottom of the page decreases the likelihood your ad will be seen dramatically.

What Can You Do With Your Google AdWords

The best response I can offer you would be to hire a professional digital ad agency, preferably one that is a Google Certified Partner.  The few extra dollars you will spend to have someone else manage your ads on a daily basis (yes I said daily) is well worth the time you will free up and the hair you don’t pull out as a result of trying to optimize your ads to the best of your ability.

If you choose to continue to manage your own ads then here are a few pointers that should help keep your ads in the top 4.  Keep in mind that some of what you will need to do will depend on the level of competition you have with your keywords phrases.

Keyword PhrasesGoogle AdWords strongly encourages the use of keywords relevant to your ad, and to the landing page.  Keeping everything relevant to each other will help raise your Quality Score.

Relevancy of Landing PageGoogle AdWords also considers the relevancy of the landing page as it pertains to the ad itself.  Having a landing page that matches your ad content will also increase your Quality Score and drive your ad higher.

Negative Keywords-A necessary evil unfortunately, and one of the major reasons you will need to manage your ads daily.  You will get clicks for keywords that have nothing to do with your campaign.  Add these keyword phrases to negative keywords.

Be SpecificGoogle AdWords allows you to run ads in very specific geographic locations, or upload a list of email addresses to target.  Use whatever tools you can to get even more specific about your demographics.

Check Your Competition-It’s OK, I promise.  There are plenty of tools, including the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, that will allow you to check what your competition or similar businesses are using in their ad campaigns, and what keywords are searched the most within a month.

online advertising through google, facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin and pinterestThis should get you started with making sure your Google Ad doesn’t disappear into oblivion but you will need to monitor your ads on a daily basis.  If you don’t you can get into trouble very quickly with uncontrolled ad spend, irrelevant clicks and your ad not running.  I have seen all of these scenarios and in each case the person managing the ads had no idea.  That person was sometimes an “advertising agency”.

One last thought.  You don’t need to have the highest bid to be ranked at the top of Google AdWords.  I am running one campaign right now where Google suggested a CPC of $36.  I am averaging $6-8 per click with an average position of 1.1 to 1.4.

If you would like a free review of your digital ad campaign call 203.806.0736 or email info@52.91.7.33.